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Lack Of Access To Mental Health Education Meant I Had To Suffer

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Trigger warning: mentions of mental health concerns such as depressive thoughts and panic attacks

At first, it seems like an easy idea to get comfortable with: self-hating thoughts as you wander about.

You think, “Well, I could do this and carry on pretending that there is nothing wrong in hating yourself. It’s normal not to feel hopeful when you wake up.”


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You could keep up with being this way for as many days as you could keep up your distractions and denials. You eat, sleep, binge-watch. You think of someone who can help you.

But, it feels like you will just be a burden to that “someone”, and that they don’t deserve to put up with you and your problems. All of a sudden, there is this weight you feel at the top of your head, as if a fully-grown person is sitting at the top of your head.

Panic Attacks Can Get Triggered

You feel this crushing weight and you feel breathless. It feels suffocating and tight. You are filled with so much pain in your chest that you just don’t want to be. That’s it! You just don’t want to be here.

You want to be the air, the dark, but just not you. That’s what I am talking about: a panic attack.

It’s not random. It’s a build up of self-destructive thoughts of days, months and maybe, even years.

And when it breaks you, you want to fall into something cushion-like.

So, when someone asks you help, you need to have this sense of understanding that might be their last hope in a battle they have been fighting for very long, with themselves.

Even if you are a stranger, there’s a lot you could do for someone who is not well emotionally and mentally. You merely listen and if you answer, make it a kind one.

Treat Others With Kindness

I am saying this because more often than I can admit, I have always been treated with kindness, during tough times, by complete strangers. But, now, I also know that there is an inherent risk and danger in approaching strangers when you are vulnerable, and in need of help.

You could be a prey to vultures out there. I have heard and seen those dangers. So, tread on that path carefully and seek help through proper channels: both online and offline. Thus, I have always felt the vacuum in our society for the kind of help that’s not taken seriously.


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Whenever I would want to feel heard and seen during trying times, I would look for unbiased help from someone not in my life.

Therapy, counselling, psychologists, psychiatrists: these are still taboo in my mind. Taboo, that I am inferior for being vulnerable. Taboo, that I have to do this in the first place to live.

Mental Health Education Is Important

And, I am aware of my part in such a grand scheme of distorted patterns of thinking.

I am one of the lucky ones who have a home, parents, and life, that can accommodate being my therapy, counselling, meetings with psychologists and psychiatrists.

My argument, or you can say, my plea, is that there has to be a proper and accessible structure for help, when it comes to people in distress, mental and emotional. Mental health education isn’t just about diagnosis and treatment for psychiatric disorders like bipolar, depression and anxiety.

It should be more accessible, less taboo and more normal, for humans to take help in areas they find hard to adjust or cope or live with. Body and mind are inseparable when it comes to well-being of a human being.

Unhealthy Patterns Of Coping

Mental health education should be comprehensive, evolving and progressive, and not just about hotline numbers. Mental health education should be all about healthy coping mechanisms, instead of defense mechanisms.

It should also be about appropriate ways of forming relationships, kinder ways to process trauma, co-relations between physical development and mental well-being.

Overall, it should be about knowledge and an acceptance of the fact that life can be trying, even uncomfortable at times. We should take time to process it, handle it at our own pace and move on.


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The following are some of the normalised, yet unhealthy notions, around the handling of grief, pain and life in general:

1. Co-dependency and resulting emotional immaturity

2. Defence mechanisms such as alcohol, drugs and sex

3. Abusive relationships and gender-based violence

I am neither a professional, nor a politician, to address this issue. Whatever I have shared here, please take it with a pinch of salt. Do question, evaluate and arrive at your own conclusion(s).



It’s not my intention to blame or recommend someone via this piece. I merely wanted to address the unbearable disappointment and discomfort I personally feel about the lack of access to mental health education in my own life. 

Featured image is for representational purposes only.
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